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Anti science culture people, what kind of popular science do you want?

2022-05-07 22:08:35Doomsday cold

Xiao Xianjing published an article in the science times 《 What kind of popular science should be carried out ?》, Point out a new direction for science popularization , Advocate expanding the scope of popular science , Join the scientific “ negative effect ” and “ Meta theoretical problems ”, Think “ Only in this way can it be more effective 、 correct 、 Fully disseminate science ”,“ Otherwise, it will be biased ”. Let's take a look at , What kind of popular science do cultural people want , And why they want such popular science .

The article begins with “ Popular science should include two aspects : The popularization of Science ; Popularization of technology .” This is nothing new , Popular science has always done this , There is no need for cultural people to say . So-called “ Scientific farming ”, It's mainly about technology , among “ Pure science ” There are not many ingredients .


 Anti science culture people , What kind of popular science do you want ?

Mr. Zhao Nanyuan, scientific consultant of Interactive Encyclopedia

The following paragraph is the new proposal :“ The first is to carry out scientific knowledge 、 Popularization of technical knowledge . Without this popularity , The production of scientific and technological knowledge is impossible , Scientific and technological progress is impossible , Science and technology to promote the development of human society has become an empty talk . however , This popularity alone is not enough , This must be combined with the methods of science and Technology 、 thought 、 Combined with the popularization of spirit . otherwise , The result of popular science is probably just the teaching of scientific and technological knowledge , It is likely that the objects to be popularized will only have scientific and technological knowledge , Do not have the methods to produce and apply these scientific and technological knowledge 、 Thought and spirit . This in itself is very disadvantageous to scientific and technological innovation .”

It seems that in Xiao Xianjing's understanding , Scientific knowledge and scientific “ Method 、 Thought and spirit ” It's separate . Science and technology workers only know “ Scientific knowledge ”, and “ Method 、 Thought and spirit ” It needs to be summed up by cultural people “ combination ”, Otherwise you can't “ Produce and apply this scientific and technological knowledge ”. If it is true , Scientists independently produce scientific knowledge , It's incredible for technicians to apply this knowledge independently . There must be a philosopher of science standing around them at any time to teach them “ Method 、 Thought and spirit ”, Or they won't be able to move . The good news is that , Xiao Xianjing's understanding of the relationship between knowledge and thought is completely wrong , Scientific methods 、 Thought and spirit are inseparable from scientific knowledge . We are only learning mathematics 、 Physics 、 In the process of specific scientific knowledge such as chemistry , To understand 、 Master and learn to use scientific methods 、 Thought and spirit . And from philosophers “ Method 、 Thought and spirit ” Dogma does not play an important role in scientific practice . This is why no scientific philosopher has ever made achievements in scientific and technological innovation , And Einstein also pointed out “ From a systematic epistemologist ( philosopher ) It seems , He ( scientists ) It must be like an unscrupulous opportunist ”. Science popularization imparts knowledge of science and technology and , It naturally teaches the of science “ Method 、 thought ”, Go again “ combination ” What philosophy , It's just icing on the cake .


 Anti science culture people , What kind of popular science do you want ?

Professor Zhao Nanyuan

Xiao Wenzhong's second proposal is that science popularization should include the influence and limit of science and Technology :“ With the social application of science and technology becoming more and more extensive and in-depth , Science and technology to nature 、 The positive and negative effects of society are also increasing . Let the public ( Of course, including scientific and technological workers and humanities workers ) We know exactly what the impact is , It should become an important part of popular science . This is for the public to fully understand the importance of science and technology for environmental protection 、 The positive and negative effects and limits of social development , For scientific and technological workers, they are clearly aware of their social responsibility , For the whole society, the correct development of science and technology and the correct application of science and technology are more conducive to promoting environmental protection and social development , It has very important theoretical and practical value .”

Let's first look at the of technology “ limit ”. Science and technology workers know , The limit of technology is “ No nonsense ”, know what really understands , Don't know for don't know . Because of the scientific and technological activities in this “ limit ” within , So science and technology is the most reliable knowledge . Beyond this “ limit ” And allow nonsense “ knowledge ” Nature is unreliable , Just talk nonsense , Just for the moment , just listen to without taking it seriously . It should be used to guide practice , It's going to hit a nail .

Now people are keen to explore the impact of science and technology on nature and society “ negative effect ”. First of all, we need to distinguish what people call “ negative effect ” Is it real or illusory , The second is to study how to avoid “ negative effect ”. Of course, the real negative effects are , For example, electricity can kill people , Cars can kill people , It also emits exhaust gas , Environment pollution . Overcoming these real negative effects depends on the dissemination of scientific knowledge . Electricity safety 、 Traffic safety 、 Automobile emission standards and so on are within the scope of scientific knowledge . Popularizing scientific and technological knowledge is the only way to overcome the negative impact .

The opposite is , What anti science forces preach “ The negative effects of Science ” But some illusory “ influence ”. They used all kinds of methods to distort and demonize science , Make up countless unwarranted charges for Technology . Some are bold assumptions without proof , Imagine the consequences that won't happen at all or are not difficult to overcome even if they happen , stay “ Probably ” Make a big fictional article after two words , Make up countless scary stories . For example, human cloning 、 transgene 、 Nanotechnology ( Grey clay ) This is the kind of attack . Others claim that science leads to “ Materialistic desires ”, People stop thinking “ The ultimate meaning ”, Indignant at the decline of religion . What's more, pick your nose horizontally and pick your eyes vertically , Even eating tomatoes and cucumbers in winter is considered to destroy the sense of season . These anti science forces preach “ The negative effects of Science ” The purpose of is to set a forbidden zone for Science , Limit the development of Science , Let the development of science not break through “ ethics ” The frame drawn by the theologian of the banner . If science really does what they want , Science will no longer exist . Because from the first day of Science , It was developed in the process of constantly breaking through the theological framework . Of course, science and technology workers don't take these people's stupid words seriously , So they pay special attention to “ Mass writing ”. Then he wants to stuff his theological private goods into popular science and fool the public , Turn popular science into Anti Science Communication .


 Anti science culture people , What kind of popular science do you want ?

Zhao Nanyuan attended the centenary birthday commemoration of his father Zhao Xiong

Xiao Wenzhong's third proposal is to publicize “ Meta theory ”:“ The third aspect of popular science is closely related to the above two aspects , But it's different . It is aimed at science 、 A series of meta theoretical problems of technology itself . For example, is scientific method universally effective ? Are scientific facts completely objective ? Does scientific theory have truth that cannot be doubted ? As long as time permits , Is scientific knowledge infinite ? Relative to the development of science and Technology , Nothing is impossible ? Thinking and answering these questions , It can make us have a more correct view of science and Technology , So as to establish the relationship between scientific culture and other advanced cultures , Create conditions for correctly criticizing various cultures that are not conducive to environmental protection and social development , It is also for correctly analyzing and evaluating the social application of science and technology 、 Point out the direction for the correct development of science and Technology .”

“ Meta theory ” It's a scary word , It's the theory that governs the theory , yes “ Go up ” Things that are . But this “ Meta theory ” What's the use , Give an example to illustrate : Newton's universal gravitation solved the source of planetary radial force , But I can't tell the origin of tangential initial velocity , Have to turn to “ Metaphysics ”(metaphysics, metaphysics , Metaphysics ), Say that the initial velocity of the planet comes from “ God's first push ”. Soon Laplace put forward the nebula Hypothesis , With physics “ Meta theory ”, Drove God out of the solar system . From then on, the famous saying of Laplace to Napoleon “ Your majesty , I don't need that ( God's ) Hypothesis ” It has become the rule of Science , No supernatural force is allowed in Science , Science rejects metaphysics . Mix these metaphysics into Science , Not as Xiao Xianjing said “ Point out the direction for the correct development of science and Technology ”, It can only hinder the development of Science , Turn God into “ God ”, Make science “ Lazy Science ”. Science and technology reject metaphysics , Of course, science popularization should not be mixed with metaphysics .

Xiao Xianjing proposed “ A series of meta theoretical problems ”, It's reminiscent of the poker that made Popper and Wittgenstein fight ( One said it was tongs ) The problem of :“ Whether there is a real philosophical problem ”. At least here “ Meta theoretical problems ” Like some boring pseudo questions . Let's analyze these problems one by one :

“ Are scientific methods universally effective ?” Of course not. . Any method is specific to a specific object 、 Of a particular problem , non-existent “ Generally effective ” It's a universal method . Even with this method , People who can't use it still have no effect . So this is a boring question .

“ Are scientific facts completely objective ?” Of course not. . The human feeling is not “ Completely objective ” Of , But the result of the interaction of subjective mechanism and objective information , therefore “ Completely objective ” There is no such thing as . But with the “ Theological experience ” comparison , Scientific facts are shared by more people , So its objectivity is much higher than “ Metaphysical facts ”. This is also a boring question that is not worth thinking about .

“ Does scientific theory have truth that cannot be doubted ?” Of course not. . The reliability of science is that it not only allows doubt , And doubt is welcome , This ensures that it is the most reliable theory that has been tempered . And those who rely on “ faith ” The metaphysical and theological theories that support “ There is no doubt about the truth ”, These theories have no questionable value , We are also too lazy to doubt these theories , Sniffing is enough . This is also a question that is not worth answering .

“ As long as time permits , Is scientific knowledge infinite ?” Of course not. . If human beings die out , Even if time is still passing , Science has to stop . Xiao Xianjing may have read 《 The end of Science 》 This book , Look forward to the day when science will really “ End ”, Scientists lost their jobs , People ask metaphysicians for advice when they have problems . It's a fantastic time , But although Xiao Xianjing is still very young , In his lifetime, he will certainly not see the arrival of this era . This question is at least meaningless to Xiao Xianjing .

“ Relative to the development of science and Technology , Nothing is impossible ?” Of course. , Some achievements of scientific and Technological Development , It's just announcing some kind of “ impossible ”. For example, the laws of energy conversion and Conservation , Just tell us “ Perpetual motion machine ” It's impossible . So-called “ Nothing is impossible ” such “ The universal ” Concept , It's not what science cares about at all . Only theology is interested in declaring that God is “ The universal ” Of .

This series of “ Meta theoretical problems ” Those who look at science from the standpoint of Theology and metaphysics will put forward , It's a silly question that makes no sense to science 、 False question . Mix these boring questions into popular science and sell them to the public , It's an insult to public wisdom .

If a philosopher is interested in metaphysics or theology , Willing to do research , It's all their academic freedom . They are willing to publicize their views , You can also do your own “ Theology popularizes ” or “ The popularization of metaphysics ”, There is no need to challenge Science , There's no need to hitch a ride to science . But they're thinking of something else , The real purpose is to intervene and command science with some ideology . This practice has a long history in the history of Science : The Pope used their teachings to interfere with Physics , Yes, Copernicus 、 Galileo persecuted ; Lisenko intervened in genetics with Stalinism 、 biology , Kill scientific scholars , Its bad influence has also spread to China . At present, anti science forces from the Pope are rampant in the world , Gather postmodernism 、 Feminism 、 Animal protectionism 、 Extreme environmentalism has formed an anti science camp , Repeat the old tricks of the old Pope and Lisenko . Some domestic philosophers and ethicists who have lost their creativity and live only by selling foreign garbage , Know their old tricks don't work in the technology world , Trying to create a simple majority by hoodwinking the public , In order to achieve this goal, we continue to make great efforts in science popularization , Try to turn popular science into “ Xuanpu ” and “ Shenpu ”.

The Pope was forced to rehabilitate Galileo , Lisenko has long been in the garbage of history , The current anti science trend seems to be threatening , It won't succeed in the end . But historical experience also tells us , See through their true colors earlier , Prevent the interference of ideology to science in time , It can greatly reduce the loss of society , Sanmenxia reservoir is an example .


The author is Zhao Nanyuan, a professor at Tsinghua University


appendix :

What kind of popular science should be carried out ?

author : Xiao Xianjing

Originally published in the science times 2003.10.24

http://www.sciencetimes.com.cn/col36/col73/article.htm1?id=22719(2003-10-24 11:05:29)

In the literal sense of popular science , Popular science is the popularization of science . actually , With the development of Science , Science and technology can no longer be completely separated , The popularization of science cannot leave the popularization of technology , Or need the popularization of Technology . therefore , Popular science should include two aspects : The popularization of Science ; Popularization of technology . In that case , What should popular science popularize ? Or further , What should we popularize science and Technology ?

The first is to carry out scientific knowledge 、 Popularization of technical knowledge . Without this popularity , The production of scientific and technological knowledge is impossible , Scientific and technological progress is impossible , Science and technology to promote the development of human society has become an empty talk . however , This popularity alone is not enough , This must be combined with the methods of science and Technology 、 thought 、 Combined with the popularization of spirit . otherwise , The result of popular science is probably just the teaching of scientific and technological knowledge , It is likely that the objects to be popularized will only have scientific and technological knowledge , Do not have the methods to produce and apply these scientific and technological knowledge 、 Thought and spirit . This in itself is very disadvantageous to scientific and technological innovation .

secondly , With the social application of science and technology becoming more and more extensive and in-depth , Science and technology to nature 、 The positive and negative effects of society are also increasing . Let the public ( Of course, including scientific and technological workers and humanities workers ) We know exactly what the impact is , It should become an important part of popular science . This is for the public to fully understand the importance of science and technology for environmental protection 、 The positive and negative effects and limits of social development , For scientific and technological workers, they are clearly aware of their social responsibility , For the whole society, the correct development of science and technology and the correct application of science and technology are more conducive to promoting environmental protection and social development , It has very important theoretical and practical value .

The third aspect of popular science is closely related to the above two aspects , But it's different . It is aimed at science 、 A series of meta theoretical problems of technology itself . For example, is scientific method universally effective ? Are scientific facts completely objective ? Does scientific theory have truth that cannot be doubted ? As long as time permits , Is scientific knowledge infinite ? Relative to the development of science and Technology , Nothing is impossible ? Thinking and answering these questions , It can make us have a more correct view of science and Technology , So as to establish the relationship between scientific culture and other advanced cultures , Create conditions for correctly criticizing various cultures that are not conducive to environmental protection and social development , It is also for correctly analyzing and evaluating the social application of science and technology 、 Point out the direction for the correct development of science and Technology .

In view of the above three aspects of popular science , The corresponding main contents of popular science are basically determined . For the first aspect , The main content of popular science is the education of natural science and technology . This is mainly in primary education 、 Completed in the process of secondary and higher education . In the process , Traditional education mainly focuses on the education of scientific knowledge , Ignoring technical education and scientific and technological methods 、 Ideological and spiritual education , Thus, science education has become scientism education . This should be noticed and corrected by quality education in the future , It is also what people should pay attention to when they carry out popular science education to the public . Of course , Among them, it is essential to strengthen the education of the history of science and Technology . For the second aspect , Popular science education on the positive role of scientific and technological applications in promoting human society has been carried out fairly well , however , For technology, for nature 、 The negative impact of society, popular science education is not enough . This makes the theory of scientific and technological optimism quite popular in China , The negative effects and harm caused by science and technology have not been clearly recognized by more people . This in itself is not conducive to the avoidance of negative effects of science and technology and the correct use of science and technology , It is not conducive to the proper play of the role of science and technology in promoting social development . Popular science education in this area involves science and technology and social politics 、 economic 、 ethic 、 Knowledge of religion and sustainable development , There are many contents involved 、 A wide range , Need to strengthen . For the third aspect , It is a difficult point in China's popular science education . The reason is that many inappropriate and even wrong traditional views on science and technology have been accepted by the general public ( Including some scientific and technological workers and Humanities and social workers ) Accept , To reverse this established mindset , They must be introduced to the philosophy of science and Technology 、 Sociology of science and technology 、 The latest development of Science 、 Sustainable development theory 、 Postmodernism and other discussions on science and technology cannot . This knowledge is extensive and scattered 、 Deep and obscure , Diversity without certainty , Involving the ontology of science and technology 、 epistemology 、 Methodology and other essential levels , Is the most difficult to teach to the public . however , Without this knowledge “ The degradation ” And teach , People's understanding of the essence of science and technology can only be superficial , Unable to gain a comprehensive and profound understanding of science and Technology . This step must be carried out , It's just a matter of time .

Of course , For a period of time, the focus of popular science can be on one of the above aspects , Or a certain content in a certain aspect , however , A complete science popularization should include the above three aspects and the main contents involved ; An appropriate popular science education should be based on a comprehensive understanding of scientific knowledge 、 Scientific thinking 、 Scientific methods 、 The scientific spirit 、 Based on the development process and application process of science and its results , absorption 、 reflection 、 Criticize 、 Understand the discussion of various trends of thought on science and technology at home and abroad , To form a more comprehensive understanding of science and technology 、 objective 、 Deep understanding . This is the fundamental purpose of our science popularization ! Otherwise, it will be biased . For example, the traditional popular science education pays more attention to scientific knowledge than scientific thought 、 Scientific method and scientific spirit , Emphasize the social promotion of science and technology application, and ignore the display of the negative effects of science and technology application , Emphasizing the inculcation of scientific truth and neglecting the discussion of the relative truth of Science . Although this is conducive to the development of science and technology and the social application of science and technology to a certain extent , however , To some extent, it is not conducive to the public's comprehensive and correct understanding of science and technology 、 It is not conducive to the correct development and application of science and technology .

In this way , It puts forward higher requirements for science popularization workers , First of all, they should have a correct and comprehensive understanding of science , In other words, we should first carry out popular science education by ourselves , Then target different classes of people, such as workers 、 a farmer 、 Student 、 Humanities and Social Sciences workers 、 Scientific and technological workers carry out targeted science popularization , Only in this way can it be more effective 、 correct 、 Fully disseminate science . Corresponding to this , It also puts forward higher requirements for our science popularization recipients , They are required to consciously carry out popular science education by themselves , And should accept a comprehensive 、 System 、 In depth popular science education , To form a more correct view of Science . From this point of view , Science popularization should be open , People of different classes need to popularize science , Even science popularization workers and science and technology workers are no exception .

Extended reading

《 Summary of classic popular science articles of contemporary thinker Zhao Nanyuan 》

《 How to see “ Superstitious Science ”,“ Not afraid of superstition is pseudoscience , Afraid that science is a false truth ”?》

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